St. Louis Cardinals hope 2013 NLCS is repeat of 2004 NLCS scenario

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

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The St. Louis Cardinals won Games One and Two of their 2013 NLCS at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series now shifts to Los Angeles for games three and four.

The Cardinals, in winning the first two games of the LCS as the home team, became the 13th team since 1985 (when MLB went to a seven-game LCS series format) to win the first two games of an LCS as the home team. The last time it happened was in 2011 when the Texas Rangers won Games One and Two of the ALCS at home. The Rangers went on to win the ALCS that year in six games.

The Cardinals in 2004 won the first two games of the NLCS as the home team against the Houston Astros. The Cards went on to win that series in seven games.

Of the 12 previous times since 1985 that a home team won the first two games of either an ALCS or NLCS, that team went on to win the LCS series nine times and lost three times. Ironically, two of the three losses occurred in 1985 as both home teams won the first two games of their respective LCS that season but then lost the series. The last time this happened was in 2004 when the Yankees won the first two games of the ALCS at home against the Red Sox but then lost the series in seven games to Boston.

Following are the 12 times when the home team won the first two games of an LCS.

American League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Toronto (Kansas City won series in seven games)
1987, Minnesota (Minnesota won series in five games)
1989, Oakland (Oakland won the series in five games)
1999, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in five games)
2004, New York Yankees (Boston won series in seven games)
2009, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in six games)
2011, Texas (Texas won series in six games)

National League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Los Angeles Dodgers (St. Louis won series in six games)
1992, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in seven games)
1999, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in six games)
2004, St. Louis (St. Louis won series in seven games)
2008, Philadelphia (Philadelphia won series in five games)
2013, St. Louis (?????)

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